This lively and accessible overview is G. R. Elton's classic account of the Reformation. The book reveals the issues and preoccupations central to the age and portrays the leading figures of the day with vigor and realism. The book gives full attention to religion and theology, restores Luther to the predominant position from which it had become fashionable to remove him, and focuses on Charles V as a pivotal player in the period. The text is a tribute both to Elton's gift for concise exposition of complex historical problems and to his masterly command of narrative. The reslut is an account of the Reformation era which is as clear-minded and readable as any published in the thirty-five years since its first publication.